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Economic Recovery and the Arts

What's happening now?

October 20, 2010 - Report on stimulus grants on CNN Money


July 27 , 2009 Update - GRANTS ARE AWARDED

Channel 12 coverage (CBS affiliate)

Channel 10 coverage (NBC affiliate)


Governor Donald L. Carcieri and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts joined today with U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and Congressmen Patrick Kennedy and Jim Langevin to announce a series of federal stimulus grants for the arts, designed to support arts organizations who contribute to the economic, educational and cultural vitality of local communities throughout the state. Joining this effort is the Rhode Island Foundation, which has agreed to contribute $100,000 in additional funds to this federal stimulus program in recognition of its potential to strengthen and stabilize the state’s arts community.

Click here for the complete press release, including a list of the federal stimulus grant recipients.

Click here to read the article on federal stimulus funding from the Providence Business News.

Click here to read the article on federal stimulus funding from the Providence Journal.

May 21, 2009 Update

We produced an update on the Arts Job program for the Senate Finance Committee, and you can see at copy by clicking here.

May 5, 2009 Update

Wow! We got a lot of applications by the May 1 deadline. Just to put it all in perspective: we received 52 applications with requests totalling $1,137.500.  The amount available through the federal stimulus package is $291,500! This is going to be a lot harder (and more competitive) than we thought.

April 13, 2009 Update

online applicatiion snapshotWe are happy to announce that an online application system is now in place to accept applications for the Arts Jobs program. The application is provided by our good friends at the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF), and it will form the basis of RISCA's move to an online grant application system starting with our October 1, 2009 grant application deadline.

Go to http://risca.cgweb.org/ to begin the process of applying.

Some information that may be useful. When you click on the link you will go to a page that allows you to enter a username and password. Since you haven't yet signed up for the system, click just below the "New to the site?" question near the bottom of the screen. This will allow you to enter information on your organization and establish a username and password.

Go to the "Current programs and applications" tab, where you can go ahead and choose the arts stimulus option to start your new application (it's the only option available). The online application system allows you to save your work as you go along, and even come back later to continue your work.

We've set the system up to allow you to submit a draft for review if you'd like. The deadline for submitting a draft will be Friday, April 24. After that date you will not be permitted to submit a draft; you'll only be permitted to submit your final application. And the system is set up so that you will not be able to submit an application after the May 1, 2009 application deadline. So there's now an ironclad reason not to try and submit a late application.

Give it a try, see how it works, and let me know what you think.

April 10, 2009 Update

The National Endowment for the Arts has issued its press release announcing the awards to the states, so we are finally official! And be sure to read the Rhode Island press release.

IMPORTANT: we hope to have an online application process for this grant opportunity in place early in the week of April 13. This will take the place of the .pdf application form. By all means use the questions found on the .pdf application form and begin to prepare your own application. Save your responses in a separate Word file. Once the online system is operational you can then just cut and paste into the system. Do not submit your application on the .pdf form.

April 2, 2009 Update

April 1 was the workshop on Arts Jobs: Solutions for the Ocean State. Here's a copy of the Powerpoint presentation from that workshop (click on start and then page through each slide):

Uploaded on authorSTREAM by randy687 

March 31, 2009 Update

Guidelines and Application form for the arts stimulus program (now known as Arts Jobs: Solutions for the Ocean State) are now online!

March 20, 2009 Update

from right in group photo, US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Providence Mayor David Cicilline and House Finance Chairman Steven CostantinoUS. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, along with Providence Mayor David Cicilline and Rhode Island State Representative (and House Finance Committee Chairman) Steven Costantino presented a workshop on the arts stimulus fund from a federal, state and local perspective. A more detailed presentation will be held on April 1, 2009 by the State Arts Council (see above to RSVP).



March 13, 2009 Update

RISCA has submitted its application to the National Endowment for the Arts for $291,500 in federal stimulus funding. Review the narrative section of the RISCA application. And review the timeline for this process, including the deadline for Rhode Island applications to be due (May 1, 2009) and when awards will be announced (early July 2009).

We expect to hear back from the National Endowment for the Arts by March 28, 2009. Once our proposal has been approved by them we will release guidelines and applications forms to the nonprofit community, and work with potential applicants to prepare for our May 1, 2009 application deadline.

We are in the process of organizing a workshop for those nonprofit organizations interested in applying for arts stimulus funds. Return to this site to see when that workshop is scheduled to take place.

Federal Arts Stimulus Funds

state recovery website logo

On February 17, 2009, President Barack Obama signed into law the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 which is designed to jumpstart the economy, create and protect jobs, and invest in key priorities.

A component of the federal law acknowledges the importance of the nonprofit arts industry to our state and national economy. In accordance with this Act, the National Endowment for the Arts, the federal funding agency for the arts, has received $50 million through the Act to help preserve jobs in the nonprofit arts sector that are threatened by declines in philanthropic and other support during the current economic downturn. As partners of the Arts Endowment, the state arts agencies (SAAs - RISCA) and regional arts organizations (RAOs - here it is the New England Foundation for the Arts, or NEFA) have an important role to play in advancing the goals of this program. Under current practice, 40% of the $50 million will go directly to the state and regional arts organizations. In Rhode Island this amounts to $291,500. The NEA will award American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds to the SAAs and RAOs specifically for projects that focus on the preservation of jobs in the arts.

Funds to the SAAs and RAOs must be used for subgranting to eligible nonprofit organizations in their state or region. These special, one-time subgrants to organizations must be used for:

  • Salary support, full or partial, for one or more positions that are critical to an organization’s artistic mission and that are in jeopardy or have been eliminated as a result of the current economic climate.


  • Fees for previously engaged artists and/or contractual personnel to maintain or expand the period during which such persons would be engaged.

Visit this page from time to time for updates on this program.